Ashok Aklujkar aklujkar at INTERCHANGE.UBC.CA
Tue May 1 13:23:12 UTC 2007

pratika is certainly an old term (appropriately) made to convey a modern
meaning, especially in Hindi, Marathi (probably Bengali) etc. , that is, it
is a term which has undergone a (historically understandable) metaphorical
or secondary (laksanika) extension.

The closest older theoretical term  would be anyokti or (the fifth variety
of) aprastuta-pra;sa.msaa (here pra;sa.msaa means 'statement,' not 'praise),
which is commonly applied to verses but could logically be applied also to
longer compositions such as plays.

ashok aklujkar

> From: Whitney Cox <wmcox at UCHICAGO.EDU>
> Reply-To: Indology <INDOLOGY at>
> Date: Tue, 01 May 2007 07:50:49 -0500
> To: <INDOLOGY at>
> Subject: Re: pratiika/allegory
> Dear Matthew,
> While I don't have any suggestion for the earliest use of
> pratiika as a possible calque for allegory, I do know (from
> a conversation with Aditya Behl a year or so ago) that the
> term is used more widely in Hindi literary criticism to
> describe, for instance, the similarly 'allegorical'
> dimensions of the Sufi premaakhyaans.
> As for a local theory of allegory, I have one suggestion.
> It was a few years ago, but I remember that in "Sivaraama's
> commentary on the Naagaananda (edited by T. Ganapati Sastri,
> Trivandrum Sanskrit Series no. 59), he consistently referred
> to the second, 'allegorical' dimension to the plot under the
> rubric of 'garbhokti'.
> I don't recall how systematic "Sivaraama was in applying
> this, nor incidentally do I know any details of his time or
> place (though I presume he may have been from Kerala, given
> that he also commented on the plays of Kula"sekharavarman,
> which were I believe works of strictly local circulation).
> I've never seen this rubric used in any work on dramaturgy
> or ala.mkaara---though other list members certainly may have-
> --but at least it might be a place to start.
> best,
> Whitney
> ---- Original message ----
>> Date: Tue, 1 May 2007 05:58:31 -0500
>> From: mkapstei at UCHICAGO.EDU
>> Subject: pratiika/allegory
>> To: INDOLOGY at
>> In current Indian writing on Sanskrit drama,
>> the term pratiika-naa.taka is sometimes used for
>> allegorical dramas in the tradition of the
>> Prabodhacandrodaya of K.r.s.namizra, e.g.,
>> Suuryasa.mkalpodaya, Caitanyacandrodaya, Am.rtodaya,
>> etc. But just when and where is this term
>> pratiika-naa.taka first used? Is it, in fact,
>> a modern coinage based on Eng. "allegorical drama"?
>> Even if the term is of recent origin, was there ever
>> another way of theorizing "allegory" in traditional
>> dramaturgy and poetics? (In esoteric religious materials,
>> of course, we find such notions as niguu.dhaartha applied
> to 
>> allegorical readings of tantric texts and the like, but
>> I am not interested in that sort of thing here, unless
>> a direct link to notions of literary allegory seems likely.)
>> Of course, as has been widely noted, the practice of
>> allegorical writing in India can be found as early as
>> some hymns of the .rg-veda. However, I am not interested
> here
>> in texts that, as a matter of fact, are allegorical or
>> have been treated as allegorical (e.g., Za.nkara's reading
> of
>> Arjuna's grief at the opening of BhG). My question concerns
>> just the conceptualization and theorization of "allegory."
>> With thanks for your houghts about this.
>> Matthew T. Kapstein
>> Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies
>> The University of Chicago Divinity School
>> Directeur d'études
>> Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris

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